One thing we love about cruising is the frequency with which we become embedded in a gang, and the energy that those gangs brings to our lives. We’ve had awesome gangs in BC, Mexico, and multiple times in French Polynesia.
It often starts when we have met another like minded boat and we are enjoying their company and another boat joins in (or maybe we are this boat that later joins in), and maybe another boat and suddenly we have a gang, we have group momentum, things are happening, other boats are joining in, there are inside jokes, much later nights than normal, and earlier mornings, practical jokes, nicknames for people, nicknames for the group, we egg each other on to do more, to play more, to live more.
There is a mixed sense of loss and relief when the gang splits up as, in the cruising world, it always does. These people become the close, local substitute for the best friends we have left behind, and the family we have moved away from. There is a wrenching feeling when we separate from them that echoes the feeling of when we left N America.
At the same time, gangs are barriers to meeting other people – perceived or imagined – locals or cruisers. Sometimes people get grumpy about gangs. There can be strange double standards about invitations/greetings aimed at gangs, where gangs are blamed for a lack of invitation/greeting by people who have also not offered an invitation/greeting. People will be people I guess.
While part of a gang, we have to work hard to meet other people (and we do) in ways we don’t have to work when we are traveling solo. When we leave a gang, we go back to activities and routines (and relaxation) that we often didn’t have when ensconced in the energy of the gang.